The Who What When Where How and Why of your WSPA Ethics Committee

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EC60: Ethics Committee Minute
Fall 2019: Volume 75, Number 2

WHO – The WSPA Ethics Committee is pleased to welcome our newest member, Connie Beck, Ph.D. who is a faculty member at the University of Washington Tacoma campus. We also thank Jame Lontz, Ph.D. for his past service, and bid him farewell as he pursues other ventures.  Additional members include Laura Asbell, PhD, Stephanie Kuffel, PhD, Bob Maurer, PhD, Carol Moore, PhD, Pamela Ridgway, PhD, and Jeffrey Schloemer, PsyD

WHAT– The two primary missions of the Ethics Committee are 1) Consultation and 2) Education.  Peer consultation is provided via our “call line” comprised of Stephanie Kuffel, Ph.D., Carol Moore, Ph.D., and Pamela Ridgway, Ph.D.  The educational component of our mission is achieved through didactic presentations and WP articles. 

WHEN – As our grandmothers said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  Many WSPA members contact us when they are facing a crisis; however, we also encourage you to reach out to us whenever you may have an ethical question or concern.

WHERE – Most of our ethics committee members currently reside in Spokane. Dr. Beck lives in Lacey but maintains a strong connection to Spokane where she was born and raised. The committee is excited about expanding into the cyber-world with Zoom online meetings beginning in 2020.

HOW – During a collegial consultation with one of our call-line members, you will have an opportunity to review your case and “think-it-through” with the guidance of professional peer. Depending on the situation, we may offer models of ethical decision-making and/or direct callers to relevant sections of the APA Ethics Code and Washington State WACs and RCWs.  The feedback we receive has been quite positive, and many callers express sincere appreciation in having the opportunity to thoughtfully examine an ethical dilemma with the assistance of a supportive colleague.  You also may have seen occasional articles from the ethics committee published in WSPA’s WP… if not then be sure to watch for future articles in upcoming editions. In July 2019 , three of our members were also pleased to offer a didactic training to the psychology interns at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, WA. Stay tuned for additional educational offerings in the coming year.

WHY – This one is easy!  Belonging to WSPA is such an important part of our professional experience in terms of networking opportunities, continuing education, and access to member benefits.  Remember: membership in state associations has been shown to reduce the likelihood of disciplinary action from state licensing boards.  The ethics consultation line helps promote the competent practice of psychology, and it is one of the many valuable benefits of your WSPA membership.

More information about the ethics committee including contact information for our call line members is available on the WSPA website at https://wspapsych.org/ethicsconsult.php